13th April 2018, 13:11
BULLS CLINCH VICTORY IN SAINTS THRILLER
Bradford Bulls Under 19’s produced a hard-fought 14-10 victory over league leaders St. Helens to seal the victory at Dudley Hill.
The young bulls dominated the early exchanges of the game showing grit in defence to limit the Saints advances to their own half.
Yet for all the Bulls dominance a significant attack could not be produced, the first try of the game coming from the visitors after a break from Alex Eckley found Jack Welsby in support to stroll over.
The Bulls would not be disheartened as the table toppers hit the lead, denying them a second try with strong goal-line defence, before restricting the Saints to taking two points from a penalty.
After controlling the St. Helens charge, Bradford would then mount a challenge of their own, led by the impressive Ebon Surr with a rampaging drive downfield.
A few plays later saw Lachlan McGill fire a cut-out pass to Matty Fletcher to crash over and put his side back into the game just before halftime. The scores in the sheds were 8-6 to the visitors.
The game was finely poised at the half-time whistle; Leigh Beattie’s side had a strong foothold in the game and in the ascendancy in the later stages of the half.
The Bulls strong defence continued into the second period, the away side again limited to taking the two points after Sam Royle’s break gave St. Helen’s positive field position.
With St. Helens threatening to push on in the game, the Bulls had repeat sets on their opponent’s line before managing to grab an all-important try. Rowan Milnes, on his return to the side, slicing through the defence.
Alix Stephenson missed the conversion; the scores remaining level at 10 a-piece, before St. Helens piled the pressure on.
Bradford produced brilliant defence to hold out the visitors for multiple sets on their line before launching an attack of their own.
Cobi Green skipped across the defence before sending a sweet cut out ball to winger Murphy Smith, who, on his under 19s debut, produced an acrobatic finish in the corner.
With just minutes left Bradford, had another opportunity to extend their lead but in the difficult conditions, Stephenson knocked his kick wide.
Ultimately the miss wouldn’t harm the home side, the final whistle sounding on an impressive performance from the Bulls Under 19’s side who showed steel in defence and no little skill in attack.